Thursday, November 8, 2012

Autumn Reads for Preschoolers

Autumn has shown its colours in full here in New York this year. Autumn, which I vote is used over the term 'Fall' because 'Fall' sounds so dull, has brought crisp, chilly days and lovely, earthy tones everywhere. Pumpkin flavored everything, the layering of clothes and pulling out of sweaters + scarves, apple picking, leaves of a multitude of hues. It's glorious. I just love it all.

If you cannot tell, it's my favorite time of year! (Well, very closely following the Advent and Christmas seasons).  We went on a quest to find some new Autumn reads for our daily reading times, so here are some we recommend being searched out. In New York, apples are a huge part of every Autumn. Our city is surrounded by many towns that have apple farms, so I've included several books focussed on apples in particular. Otherwise, find books on leaves, weather, and so forth. Enjoy!

Apple by Nikki McClure
A recently re-released one by one of my favorite children's artists (see also her book To Market, to Market, which is another favorite), this simple 3-color book features only one word per page. It follows the life of an apple through each stage, including compost and regrowth. I think this book is perfect for young toddlers or as a starting point to talk about the life cycle of apples with an older child (2-4 year old).

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber + illustrated by Leslie Evans
The perfect companion to a leaf hunt. If you don't already know all your leaves by name, this book features poems that describe the different leaves you might find while traipsing about outside.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson + illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
This one was D's favorite of them all - I cannot even count how many times we read this. He swears it's about a kangaroo, but in fact, a fox takes the starring role. This fox is friends with a tree, and has a minor breakdown when the tree "gets sick." It takes a bit for him to realize the tree is not actually sick, but going through the natural changes autumn calls for.

Apples A to Z by Margaret McNamera + illustrated by Jake Parker
Apples and ABCs all in one! There is so much to be learned about apples from this book - from varieties to growth cycles and more! Simple enough to be comprehended by a 3 year old, but older kids could definitely learn from it as well.

Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson + illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
A Tall Tale based somewhat on a real pioneer, tells of a man traveling westward towards Oregon with a wagonful of fruit trees... oh, and his family, too. The trees face all the hardships known to the Trail, but with the help of the farmer's beloved daughter, Delicious, they make it through. A sweet tale bringing in a little of the history of the Oregon Trail as well.

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems + illustrated by Jon J. Muth
This book touches on each season, and although it doesn't focus primarily on Autumn, I think it's a sweet changing of the seasons book. Lovely artwork depict how a dog and frog befriend one another, meeting once each season.

Earl the Squirrel by Don Freeman
By the same author who brought to life Corduroy, this book tells of a young squirrel who has befriended a human girl, and his mother thinks he has become spoiled. He sets off on an adventure to gather acorns solo. The art in this has a vintage appeal, and the same simple 3 color prints as noted in the book Apple (seen above).

County Fair by Laura Ingalls Wilder + illustrated by Jody Wheeler
Anyone who has read the Little House on the Prairie Books will recognize the characters seen in this tale. This was another of D's favorites, telling the story of Almonzo, Laura Wilder's husband, when he was a boy. It shares the excitement of attending a good old fashioned county fair, with prizes for produce + preserves, races between the boys, and a shared meal between the community. It's a perfect starter for getting into the world of the Little House.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
Probably one of my favorites of all our discoveries, this book tells of a little girl who wants to make an apple pie, but the store is closed. So, instead, she travels around the world via ship, plane, and parachute to gather each supply from where it grows. Whether it be England to get a cow for milk or Sri Lanka to obtain bark from the kurundu tree (to be ground into cinnamon, of course!), she literally travels far and wide to collect the very best for her apple pie.

Any great Fall children's book you love and would add to this list? Share in the comments!

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This post Autumn Reads for Preschoolers first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 8 November 2012

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